The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is more relevant than ever today!
The busyness and disconnection of modern life can make it feel like we’re raising our kids on an island, rather than in a cohesive, supportive community.
The great news is that although the village may look a whole lot different these days, we can surround ourselves with people that can invest in our kids and assist in raising them successfully.
Here’s the crew you can’t live without in the 2017 village…
1. A partner
It goes without saying that raising kids with a supportive partner is beneficial. Ideally, your partner will have your back, pick up the slack, and help you balance hectic schedules to make sure your babes are always looked after. Of course, lots of people are solo parenting, so find someone that is your first port of call, your lifeline. It may be a relative, your ex if you can be amicable or possibly the next village friend…
2. A bestie, BFF or ‘sister to another mister’
Besties are the best! They’re soul mates that you can call on when you’re in crisis, cry about parenting challenges with, and leave your kids with when you’re in a jam. They celebrate milestones, encourage you when you need it, bring wine when you really need it, and are on that life-journey with you for the long haul. Make sure you have a quality bestie (or more!) in your village.
3. A parent (or parent substitute!)
Parental wisdom is invaluable. Your parents have raised kids before and can offer insights, baby-whispering services, and general advice to get you through most child-raising hurdles. Many millennials are even buying property with their folks, taking village living to the next level! If your parents are less than wonderful, find some wise ones in your world (in-laws, older neighbors, Aunts, Uncles etc.) who can give you the support and knowledge you need from someone who’s been there before.
4. An amazing family doctor
Finding a family doctor, you feel comfortable with and trust is so important. They get to know your kids well and so can care for their health more effectively. Make sure you find one that doesn’t make you feel like an idiot for rushing your baby in for the teeniest cough. A GP who takes you seriously and supports you is a village must.
5. A mums group (AKA your girl squad)
Connecting with other mums on a similar journey is vital. You share what you’re discovering and compare experiences, learning together as your kids grow. Whether this is a group you join through local child health services post-birth or a bunch of mums you know socially, sharing with mums in a similar life-stage to you will greatly help you on your parenting way.
6. A childcare angel (or your nanny, babysitter, teacher etc.)
Good childcare workers are saints. They’re more modern additions to the village, but so, so essential. They care for our babes when we can’t. They instill values, teach skills, and love our kids so well. Never undervalue the important role they play in raising our kids with us. Respect them, love them and tell them how much you appreciate what they do.
7. A good boss
Balancing at-home parenting with employment is a common challenge mums face. Finding work with flexible hours is often difficult, and we can feel like we’re doing neither particularly well at times. Having a good boss who is understanding of the conflicting priorities mums face, supporting them in the workplace and accepting of the flexibility they require is crucial. It may seem impossible, but good bosses are out there, promise.
Invite quality, inspirational people to come into your life and invest in your kids. Don’t feel vulnerable you don’t have all seven of these people immediately, if you do, well – lucky you! If you don’t, parenting and relationships are both a journey and you can seek this ‘team’ as you go.
What is for sure is that you can’t do this child-rearing gig alone! So instead of feeling like you’re struggling on that island, know that this new, modern-style community-support-team is the answer! Go find your village!
Want more good parenting advice? Then take a look at this article about the white lies us mums need to stop telling ourselves.